Grace Over Power - Epic Grand Cru: 2011 Bertheau Bonnes-Mares

Posted by Ian McFadden

Grace Over Power
- Epic Grand Cru
2011 Bertheau Bonnes-Mares
Only Bottles in the U.S.

"I do wonder how he has managed to fly beneath the international burgundy-loving radar for so long. His wines are really outstanding - very pure and unforced." -Jancis Robinson

In a world that seems increasing dominated by neon and bold, Bertheau's wines stand in stark contrast with their soft spoken purity. They are things of beauty.

This is one of the reasons why the famed importer, Kermit Lynch, called Bertheau "a gifted winemaker of the old school."

Bertheau's parcel in Bonnes-Mares is a mere .34ha. It's an extremely rare wine, especially in vintages like 2011 where yields at Bertheau were down by 30%.

Our original parcel of 2011 Bertheau Bonnes-Mares sold out quickly to his enthusiastic fan base. A week ago, I was able to land another parcel and I'm happy to offer this to a larger group.

These are the only bottles in the country.

Their soft spoken, subtly elegant style has caused them to cruise under the radar. And prices reflect that, for now.

Compare Bertheau's Bonnes-Mares at $219.95 to Drouhin's at $480 or the extreme case Roumier's at somewhere around $850-1,100 per bottle.

For me, I always return to Jacky Truchot and Jean-Marie Fourrier as points of comparison. The kinship lies in the sense of gracefulness and precision that all three share.

A very small parcel of old Bertheau that we purchased a couple years ago kicked off a fascination that soon started to consume us. The wines were so harmonious, so beautifully elegant that it was impossible not to get a little obsessed.

Bonnes-Mares is one of the great Grand Crus for Red Burgundy. This is a distance runner of a Grand Cru combining the perfume of Musigny with the brawn of Chambertin.

Bertheau produces an absolutely gorgeous Bonnes-Mares. It offers up the Grand Cru's muscle along with a really impressive degree of finesse and agility. Burghound really nails it when he writes that the wine has "a taut muscularity on the impressively long and perfectly balanced finish. A relatively refined Bonnes Mares"

The 2011 Burgundy vintage provided a perfect canvas for Bertheau to excel. Burghound captures the vintage very nicely when he writes, "they have this beguiling sense of harmony, partially because they are so well-balanced but also because the tannins are so ripe and fine grained." When I tasted the vintage last year, I was really impressed by the lovely freshness and beautiful clarity of fruit.

Needless to say, all of this played right into Bertheau's hands. The Bonnes-Mares boldly stands as the pinnacle of Bertheau's work in the vintage.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Burghound: "This is also notably spicy with its fresh, cool and airy aromas of mostly red berry fruit though there are top notes of violet and rose petal. There is good volume to the delicious and quite supple flavors that display a taut muscularity on the impressively long and perfectly balanced finish. A relatively refined Bonnes Mares that is easily the best wine in the range in 2011 as there is just more underlying material."